Friday, December 6, 2013
By JAMES PATRICK Special to the Telegram
PORTLAND — Greely's Monica Howland stared at the roof of the Portland Ice Arena for about 10 seconds.
Monica Howland, right, of Greely gets a hug from Ceci Hodgkins after scoring the game’s only goal, giving the Rangers a 1-0 win over Leavitt/Edward Little in an Eastern Maine girls’ hockey semifinal.
Derek Davis/Special to the Telegram
Finally, somebody found a way to score a goal.
Howland's third-period goal sent the second-seeded Rangers to a 1-0 victory over third-seeded Leavitt/Edward Little 1-0 Saturday night in their Eastern Maine girls' hockey semifinal.
That Greely's goal was a little sloppy came as no surprise -- it was going to take a lucky bounce to beat Red Hornets goaltender Tori Sanford.
The goal came after 30 scoreless minutes in the first two periods. Greely's Chelsey Andrews fired a shot from the goal line. The puck bounced off the goaltender, and eventually onto Howland's stick. She flipped her wrists and scored 1:44 into the third period.
"It was a lucky goal," Howland said. "It was a team goal. ... We had to get lucky if we were going to get a goal."
That's a credit to the goaltending of both teams.
Sanford stopped 24 shots. Greely's Emma Seymour made 21 saves.
Red Hornets Coach Eric Geoffroy just shook his head.
"(Sanford) did a great job keeping us in it," he said. "It's the playoffs. There's a different vibe to the game. Everybody thinks about their job a lot more. It all comes out in the playoffs."
The Red Hornets (11-7-1) certainly tested Seymour often, especially late in the second period. At one point, a Leavitt/Edward Little player raised her stick behind the Greely net thinking her shot had gone in. Nope. Seymour was covering the puck. A minute later, it was Tori Katore who skated in on a breakaway. She got off two shots but couldn't score.
That's par for the course for Seymour and Greely (14-5). It was her seventh shutout of the season, but first since five straight to start the season.
"She was big time," Coach Nate Guerin said. "She stopped a breakaway or two.
"She was just being aware of the puck at all times. ... She stayed focused. She's always one of the best."
The Rangers will need Seymour at her best Wednesday when they face top-seeded Brunswick in the Eastern final at Portland Ice Arena.
Correction: This story was revised at 2 p.m., Feb. 13, 2012, to correct the number of shutouts for Emma Seymour this season. She has seven shotouts.